The tourism industry is going through a period of massive change when it comes to payments. Digital wallets, RFID bracelets, and online ticket and retail sales have become more popular than ever for tours and attractions.
While there are countless benefits that these new technologies bring, they can be susceptible to fraud. As online payments became the norm in the wake of COVID-19, reports of credit card fraud in the United States rose by 113% from 2019 numbers, for total losses topping $3.3 billion.
Thankfully, fraud protection is moving just as fast to ensure that public faith in online payments remains intact, so consumers and businesses alike can safely enjoy the convenience brought by online payments.
If your tour or attraction accepts online payments in any form, it may be worthwhile to refresh yourself, and your customers, on some common practices to ensure the safety of your identity and transactions.
Here are five common strategies to avoid credit card fraud at your operation so you can ensure your payment processor account isn’t suspended, save money on chargebacks, and most importantly, focus on delivering a great guest experience this summer.
Look for common warning signs
It has been said that the best defense is a good offense. It is certainly the case that the most effective way to reduce credit card fraud is to familiarize yourself with the most common ways it presents itself for a tour or attraction.
Below is a compiled list of the most common signals that a transaction may be fraudulent.
- Orders that include several of the same items, especially when it would be unusual to purchase multiple
- Orders made up of “big-ticket” items that have high resale value
- “Rush” or “overnight” orders
- Orders that fail AVS (Address Verification Service) or CID (the three-digit value on the back of the card)
- An international order from a country that your business doesn’t market to for a product the cardholder should be able to purchase at home
- Multiple purchases on the same day
- Multiple purchases from the same IP address
- Orders shipped to a single address but made on multiple cards
- Multiple transactions on one card or similar cards with a single billing address but multiple shipping addresses
- Multiple failed attempts to purchase prior to a passing authorization
Once you’re aware of what you’re looking for, you can employ the following common strategies to protect yourself.
Sign up for authentication programs
Authentication programs protect businesses and consumers by requiring a password to verify identity online. The most common authentication programs are Verified by VISA and Mastercard Secure Code. Each of these programs does charge a small processing fee to use, but offers the following advantages:
- Additional prevention layer
- Card issuer will take the loss off your books
- Software managed and improved by experts
Use an address verification system
This is the step in the online checkout process where the system matches your billing address to what’s on file at the bank. Although it does create a bit more friction in your checkout, customers are quite used to this step (their browsers may even pre-populate this information) and it is a simple way to add one more layer of protection to your process.
Use software to flag suspicious transactions
Online payment processing has evolved to use some complex strategies for fraud detection and prevention using insights and machine learning from millions of data points.
A common online payments processor is Stripe, which introduced its Radar fraud protection several years ago. It has now evolved to be a key differentiator for Stripe, with complex algorithms and a use-friendly custom set of rules to put the power in the hands of the business owner as to what charges they would like flagged to them for manual review.
Accept EMV chip cards
Lastly, this is the primary way to reduce fraud for on-site, in-person purchases. Ensure that your location is equipped with great hardware with the latest chip technology for payment processing. If you’re not using the latest payment hardware with fraud protection built-in, now is the time to consider an upgrade.
Effective credit card fraud prevention can all but eliminate credit card fraud for your business. Now may be the time to refresh your team on protocols and invest in new strategies to ensure your business is fraud-proof going forward.